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As Fâr

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Mar. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: World Village
  • ASIN: B004EFQ6FU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,896 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Joubran are establishing themselves at the forefront of Arabic music. The new album AsFâr is their fi nest and most complete to date, with Dhafer Youssef contributing guest vocals to the brothers intricate and dazzling interplay. Le Trio Joubran are the sons of a Palestinian master luthier, who is the son of a master luthier... a family steeped in the 4,000-year history of the oud, ancestor of the guitar, and it this instrument that is their passion, their skill and their life. They take inspiration from maverick fi gures in jazz and fl amenco, traditions that also highly value virtuosity and improvisation. Sometimes, the three brothers play together in precise unison, or merge their sounds to spin out rich, textured drones and ostinatos. At other times, they stand apart as distinct voices locked in passionate dialogue. The title of their recent album Majaz, translates as metaphor ; a suggestion that, although they rarely resort to words, these brothers do have things to say. With mysterious, seductive eloquence, they communicate profound ideas about history, musical evolution, and the beautiful aesthetics of Arabic music, still far too little-known in the West.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you are reading this you probably have some idea what to expect of an oud - plucked strings unlimited by the presence of frets. Are 3 ouds 3 times better than one? Not usually, the ornamentation and middle eastern scales don't really lend themselves to lush harmonies. Instead this is spare, minimalistic in arrangement with often one oud at a time. There is a bigger gain from the addition of percussion giving a sense of space and openness and sometimes a welcome hint of a groove. Occasional vocals suitably drawn out and floaty to contrast the plucked oud strings with their relatively short sustain. Within this sparse, moody landscape the oud playing of the 3 Joubran brothers is faultless. To my ear, it mostly sits somewhere between sad and meloncholy with hints of anger lying beneath. Not exactly party music but in you tend to prefer your music in minor keys, it's well worth a listen.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD amply demonstrates the excellent musicianship of Le Trio Joubran. Their their mastery of the oud is evident in every track.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x86cca54c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x86a20f90) out of 5 stars Brilliant and Contemporary, Innovative and Serious 17 May 2011
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These three oudist Joubran brothers, who now reside in France but were raised in Palestine, are creating a reputation for brilliant compositions and arrangements that maintain traditional oud technique yet are exceedingly contemporary. Their pieces are somewhere between rock and Western classical chamber music, between Arabic taqsim improvisations and cinematic soundtracks, between jazz dance and Sufi spirituality: in short, unique, approachable, and captivating. Supported at times by a percussionist and a vocalise vocalist, their trio of ouds are sonically full and strong in rhythm. Their debut album (as a trio) had been my favorite, as subsequent ones had veered somewhat pop or directed exclusively to the Arabic audience, but this new recording returns to the serious innovative musical path. It is profound in emotion and complex in development. Only the final track approaches the traditional Arabic style. [The title of album As Fâr, versus the track Asfâr, is cryptic and perhaps wordplay; asfar means yellow in Arabic.] This album is stunning art and the trio's finest work thus far. It is 50 minutes in duration and superbly engineered.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x86a2d1f8) out of 5 stars Masterpiece 24 May 2011
By A. Gibbs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been looking forward to another release from this group from Palestine and it's been well worth the wait. You can hear the passion and energy in every note. Evocative, inspirational. Wonderful to hear more percussion too. Simply wonderful recording I'll never tire of listening to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x86a2d1bc) out of 5 stars A Real Discovery 11 Aug. 2013
By Gary Lee Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Le Trio Joubran is a real discovery. I could localize them as Palestinian, but their music truly transcends geography. It is beautiful, haunting, mesmerizing at times. This is a mature, accomplished album. Although every piece is excellent, I especially recommend the 15-minute long title track, Asfar. It takes you to another state entirely. Superb.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x86a2d4b0) out of 5 stars Travels with Le Trio Joubran 11 May 2012
By Sue Leigh Waugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There are many things to recommend purchasing this latest release from the charismatic Joubran brothers: the playing is phenomenal; the recorded sound is spectacular (you can practically FEEL the resonance of the deep bender drum!); and speaking of bendirs, percussion master Youssef Hbeiseh rejoins the Trio to provide plenty of rhythmic genius; and of course, you will be supporting Palestinian artists.

The disc opens strong with a vigorous, pyrotechnical display for the full ensemble, featuring a strong contemporary groove and imaginative rhythmic interplay between Hbeiseh and the ouds. The focus gets a little lost on tracks two and three, where the vocalise adds little to the musical textures on "Zawaj el Yamam" (better if the plaintive sounds of an Armenian duduk were used) and the third track, ("Dawwar el Shams") which despite marvelous playing, simply does not have enough musical material to fill nearly five minutes. Track four ("Douja") also suffers from over extending its limited material, though the vocals are a little better matched to the overall dreamy mood and texture. Things get back on track in track five ("Sama Cordoba") - a thrilling bit of oriental improvisation with some dazzling finger work and perfectly orchestrated percussion from Hbeiseh. The 15-minute-long title track, "Asfar" (meaning "Journey" or "Travel") is evocative of what Ravel's "Bolero" might have sounded like if he had composed it as an oud trio: the entire piece is based upon a simple ostinato that slowly builds in intensity, reaching its climax about 9 minutes and thereafter, slowly unwinds. While beautiful, the material simply was not interesting or varied enough to sustain a quarter-of-an-hour's worth of listening. The disc concludes with a wonderful ensemble track ("Masana") that stays very close to traditional modes, starting slowly and then concluding with a warm and rhythmic dance.

Overall, a beautifully performed disc that could have benefited from stronger programming.
HASH(0x86a2d9b4) out of 5 stars Le Trio Joubran's finest album 20 Sept. 2015
By Dore Stein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
AsFâr is Le Trio Joubran's finest album. The cd includes two tracks featuring the heartrending vocals of Tunisian singer Dhafer Youssef. (He is also an oudist but no need for his oud here.)

The youngest brother Adnan has a cd "Borders Behind" which is also excellent. Borders Behind is more cross-pollinating with flamenco and Indian influences.
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